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Smoke haze in Singapore. 14 tips on how to survive haze / severe air pollution. Her dream home needs to meet 6 criteria

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In summer 2013,
air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra island has choked Singapore.
To make the condition worse, El Niño which tends to produce very dry weather conditions in the region, appears to intensify the effects of the fires in Indonesia.

PSI = Pollutant Standards Index.
PM 2.5 = A reading for airborne particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less – small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs.

PSI Value & Air Quality Descriptor according to NEA:
0 – 50 : Good
51 – 100 : Moderate
101 – 200 : Unhealthy
201 – 300 : Very unhealthy
Above 300 : Hazardous

On 20 Jun 2013 1 PM, the 3-hour PSI Reading was 371 in Singapore.

A friend of mine mentioned that the city looks apocalyptic.

In Beijing in January 2013, the PSI reached the range of 470-490.
Lung cancers are soaring in Beijing.
A friend who works in China shared that many people, if they can afford it, want to get out of China, due to the environmental hazard : pollution.

The U.S. AQI only goes up to 500.

The 19th century London was notoriously known as the foggy city.
The hazy / bleak / fog everywhere London was too distant for me to recall of London.
In my lifetime (the 21st century), my memory of London has been positive (but I do not live there long enough).

Here are tips on how to survive living with haze:

1. Spend less time outdoors.

2. If you have to go out, wear N95 mask, wear hat / carry umbrella, carry a bottle of water.
When you feel a tingle in the throat or start coughing, a drink of water can be helpful.

3. Before you go out, close all your windows and ventilation outlets.

4. Wash your face, rinse your mouth, and clean your nasal cavity, shower when getting indoors.
Blow your nose in a piece of tissue, you will see black particles in it.

5. Children & older adults should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.

6. Close your windows when the condition is severe.

7. If you use air-conditioner, make sure your apartment has enough oxygen.

8. Keep plants with broad leaves at home to absorb dusts. Place a wet mat beneath your doors.

9. Use air purifiers with HEPA filter.

10. Smoke less. Avoid smokers.

11. Eat more fruits, vegetables. If necessary, take vitamin C.

12. Drink more water, milk (especially if you suffer from dry throat). Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

13. Avoid / minimize alcohol / coffee.

14. Go somewhere unaffected for holiday. My husband’s friend D has brought his family for a holiday in Bali.

15. If the haze / air pollution is a constant problem, consider migrating.
A friend who was born in Indonesia,
S shared with me about the criteria for her dream home which I found interesting.
S wants to move to places like New Zealand, Australia, or Canada,
where the air quality (and presumably the living conditions are better).
She told me that once when she was in Toa Payoh, a Hong Kong expatriate shared that Hong Kong people who migrated to US / Canada are relatively richer than those who migrated to Australia / NZ due to higher fund required for the former.

Here are S’ criteria for her desired home:

1. 2nd floor and above, but not too high floor (she was concerned about earthquake & window safety for her children).

2. Why not ground floor?
Bungalows often consist of only ground floor (if not 2-storey high).
S shared with me her experience living in a ground floor house where she suffered annually from the flood (and the risk of electricity through water).

3. Her home must have a bomb shelter, based on her experience living in Singapore, where flats have a bomb shelter that also serves as a store room. An alternative is to have multi-storey with an underground / basement.

4. Entire flat must be well-equipped with air-conditioner, although she mentioned that she would not switch them on daily, as she is aware of the consequences of air-conditioner on our protective ozone layer. The air-conditioner fixtures are meant to survive for severe haze episodes.

5. To have fridge & freezer in her room (so that she can have access to her food).
Perhaps, a well equipped studio apartment (not too spacious) will be easier for her to manage.

6. Yes, but S also wants to rent her rooms for additional income, so she needs a spacious home, unless it is hard to get tenants.

Related:
http://donghuan.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/my-first-day-back-in-china-and-tips-on-how-to-survive-beijings-dirty-air/
http://spotlightxoxo.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/skin-care-tips-during-the-haze/

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Written by blueroselady

June 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

A journey to Yunnan

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This is a backlog travel note.

@~@
What to bring?
see 2bring4travel.txt in my folder of China2012.

@~@
I make a marking for every (large in amount) RMB note that we bring to China.
Why?
The money changer staff told us that her son was cheated.

Her son gave the shop assistant a large note.
The shop assistant went to look for change.
She came back and told him that there was no change and returned him a fake note!

@~@
Our tour guide to Shi Lin was Mr Wang.

He told us that to travel by yourselves will cost more than joining tour.
Mr Wang said his salary is RMB 1600. A month expenditure is RMB 1000. Therefore, we have to shop, the more we shop, the more commission he will receive.

If one earns RMB 2500 per month, he or she is considered high earner.
The main sources of income for travel company in Yunnan:
1. tourist attractions.
2. air tickets.
3. hotel (we were promised 4* hotel-room but we got a RMB 80 / night 2* motel-room).

4. food (Wang told us to expect the food to be not delicious).

China has 56 tribes.
Yunnan has 52 tribes.
Mr Wang said that fast and dark female are desirable.
女孩十八岁像老太太
老太太像老妖怪

To leave the mountain, the minority people have 2 paths:

1. study well
2. join the army
In his village (Shi Lin), the eldest woman in the tribe is the head. If a man run away to leave the mountain, all family members will be punished.

According to Wang, silver can remove ‘wind’.

To me, A Shi Ma (Yunnan) to greet female sounds similar to Ajuma (Korea).
A Shi Ma 阿诗玛 means diligent and beautiful.
To greet male, A Hei Ge 阿黑哥 / A Bai Ge 阿白哥 / Hei Bai Ge 黑白哥 aka A Hua Ge 阿花哥.

Lake is called Sea.
River 河 is called Jiang.

FOOD that we tried:
@~@ flower pastry. We love it (JiaHua brand).
@~@ over-the-bridge rice noodle.
@~@ The eight treasures of Yunnan. Too sour for me.
@~@ Wild mushroom banquet. Thank you to our tour guide Wang for driving us there (for free), he said he stayed near there. The waitress was also honest to return a forgotten phone.

@~@ Hui cuisine. The wild vegetable was unique, my first time eating such kind of vegetable.
@~@ 青稞饼 (barley bread).

FAUNA
@~@ grazing yaks (black, white, brown) : Zhongdian / 中甸, Blue Moon Valley
@~@ sheep
@~@ horse riding, LaShiHai / 拉市海*. It costs us RMB 350 / person, latter someone told us that you can have the ride for RMB 100. My travel partner was happy for the first time riding horse.

* When I prepared for the trip to Yunnan, 拉市海 seems so tranquil like Lake Bohinj, but when we visited 拉市海, it was hot and crowded (especially at the horse riding sites). The tranquil site was frequently visited by couples taking pre wedding photos.

Be careful of:
pickpockets / bag slashings.
Avoid barber shops, massage centers (con involvement).
police num: 110

Black Dragon Pool / 云南黑龙潭
The front cover of my favorite travel book: DK Eyewitness of China features the Black Dragon Pool with Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain and its reflection.

When we were there, the pool was dried that we could see the cracking soil and smell the unpleasant fishy odor.

Sometimes, virtual travel (through travel books / documentaries / videos) seems, sounds and smells more relaxing. Personally, this is possible if only we have experienced similar things before, so that we can imagine and re-feel. If not, we have to travel our lives!
Many times, we have to travel indeed.

Lijiang 丽江 to Zhongdian 中甸:
terraced fields (reminded me on the journey to Sapa in Vietnam).
the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

@~@
See also:
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/dream-of-love-in-the-spring-2012/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/plan-for-our-love-photos-china/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/travel-china-sichuan/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/asia-regional-travel-ideas-2012-2014/
Blueroselady’s travel

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Written by blueroselady

March 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

Monk fruit to prevent heat stroke

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In the 2nd week of January 2013, I felt so hot.
I drank home-cooked luo han guo on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
They were cheap $2 for 6 large pieces (very cheap indeed!) and a piece of it can make a big pot of luo han guo drinks (I think I can make profits selling it).

However, things taken excessively are not good to us.
It is time to put a break.

Benefits:
to balance heat built-up caused by internal conditions, life-forces, or external heat / to prevent heat stroke.
expectorant and antitussive to treat lung congestion, cough, other respiratory ailments, and sore throat.
for constipation and chronic enteritis.
natural sweeeteners, perhaps better than sugar.
contains vitamin C.
for longevity (perhaps due to its anti-oxidant / anti-cancer properties).

More:
www.drugs.com/npp/luo-han-guo.html

Written by blueroselady

January 11, 2013 at 5:13 am

First Monday of 2013

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Breakfast:
Cadburry chocolate milk. I added fresh milk.
strawberry yoghurt.
home-cooked luo han guo drink : a healthier substitute of sugar.
steamed egg with anchovies.

Brunch: chicken essence.

Lunch:
Fish&co
Grilled cod with black pepper sauce (I thought I was getting rice with vegetables as advertised, but I got mash potatoes)
Mushroom soup.
Orange juice.
Ice cream.
Listening to voice notes from my inspiring mentor NH on how to overcome fear.

Tea break:
Char Siew bread.
Shiroi Koibito / White Lover.
Walnut drink.
Steamed vegetable with olive oil.

Dinner:
Home-cooked dinner by Mom.

How to spend less $?
Dining at lunch time.
Dining on weekdays instead of weekend.
Beware that some promotional items may be less than the normal.

Activities:
@~@ Revised my notes from reading over 100 books in 2012.
@~@ Did shopping at Popular and Daiso. Less crowd means less stress.
@~@ Talked to Dad and Moms.

Very HOT. 35 degree C.
I put my hat off to those who work outdoor e.g. Construction workers. They risk sunburn and dehydration. Thank you!

Written by blueroselady

January 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

My simple yet meaningful weekend activities

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In the 3rd weekend of the last month of 2012, I
@~@ woke up at 9 am (I was so tired from the night before, we went to Ikea to buy some stuff for our baby and kitchen).
@~@ read a couple of New York Times articles.
@~@ listened to my daily prayer for our baby.
@~@ listened to classical music.
@~@ paid bills, recorded my expenditure.
@~@ updated LinkedIn, added new contacts. Took a lot of time to personalize my message! However, with an investment of few hundred $, I want to ensure that I am connected with the inspiring people I met recently.
@~@ washed dishes. Honestly, I dislike doing this, but my mentor TNH told me to be mindful while washing dishes, as a form of meditation for enlightenment.
@~@ planned for our next dwelling by listing the essential attributes. Main criteria for me: no smokers nearby please!
@~@ hugged my lover. Men who receive kisses and hugs live longer.
@~@ sourced for photographic inspirations for our babies.
@~@ worked through remote connection to my work computer. This is to ensure that my jobs are continuously running even though I am sleeping.
@~@ had a cold shower. So refreshing! When people are deprived of shower, even a simple shower can be so pleasurable!
@~@ cooked steamed double cheese broccoli. 15 minutes to prepare.
@~@ cooked pork rib soup with red dates and wolf berries.
@~@ did yoga cum listened to a lecture from a popular Harvard course. Yes, I am a geek. Listening to the course helped me to do yoga for at least 15 minutes.
@~@ read our wedding wish cards. "Love isn’t finding a perfect person. It’s seeing an imperfect person perfectly." – Sam Keen, American author & philosopher
@~@ made personalized greeting cards for my friends.
@~@ went to church.
@~@ fell in love with the apricot & almond cookies box of Forever Friends vintage. I kept the image of the box as an inspiration.
@~@ ate Baskin-Robbins ice cream of the following flavors: pomegranate vanila, Rocky Road (chocolate with mini marshmallow), with the topping of hot fudge. We thought that the fudge was too sweet for us.
@~@ appreciated starry night (we saw Orion) while strolling at the next door park.

God, I am so grateful and happy, for my simple yet meaningful lifestyle.

Tips to maintain refrigerators

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1. fill up our refrigerators. Empty refrigerators have more air that warms up when the doors are opened, so empty refrigerators need to spend more energy to cool down.
2. Do not open refrigerator door for too long.
3. Put frequently-used items near the front of each shelf for easy reaching. Be organized.
4. Allow hot food to cool before putting them into refrigerator.
5. Keep refrigerator level so the doors can close tightly.
6. check door seals / gaskets regularly for damage. Escape of cold air wastes energy, electrical bill.

Written by blueroselady

November 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Posted in food

Tagged with , , , ,

How to cook and use the remaining for beauty?

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Today, I attended a demo on how to cook mushroom alfredo fettuccine and water melon salad.

Though I do not plan to prepare those 2 dishes (because the preparation steps are too many for me), I learned useful tips.

To prevent the lost of nutrients, cook using small heat.
Do not use big heat or high pressure.

Olive oil is best not cooked, because upon cooking, the anti-oxidant property of olive oil will be lost.
Extra virgin olive oil can also be applied on the navel of little children if they suffer from stomachache.

Mushrooms
Do not wash them upon buying.
Wash them only immediately before cooking.

Garlic and chopped onion
Instead of heating oil then adding garlic into the pan (which may result in the release of water from garlic), we can add garlic to a bowl containing olive oil and incubate them for a while before stir-frying.
Do not over cook garlic as it will lose its anti-oxidant property.

The more you stir, the longer it takes to cook our food because cold air will go in.
Do not stir garlic too much while cooking.
Do not over stir.

Before cooking rice, soak the rice grain in water for 10 min.
This step will let the rice grain to elongate and the rice will be fluffier.

How to remember which vitamins are anti-oxidant?
vitamin A
vitamin C
vitamin E
ACE as of the ACE in the poker card.

If possible, do not use salt and sugar in cooking.

Lemon
To get lemon juice, rub 1st before cutting.
To squeeze, penetrate a fork into a half-cut lemon, move up and down. This will prevent you from muscle ache. No need to spend money on orange squeezer.
Lemon may not be good for facial because it makes our skin becomes more absorptive to UV sunlight, so increases pigmentation.

Blanching is a cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.

The secret of Hong Kong soup:
Instead of putting all ingredients into a pot of water and bring all to boil,
1. blanch vegetables, meat.
2. put them into a pot of boiling water, then brew.

You can also blanch in bicarbonate of soda.
Bicarbonate will soften the outer skin of vegetables, and it is the secret of getting crunchy prawn.
Use the remaining soda on your hand to get smooth skin, e.g. to scrub the elbow skin to improve the flow of Qi.

How to prepare salad leaves?
Do not cut with knife as you may tear the chlorophyll.
Instead, use hand to tear e.g. lettuce.

Pomegranate
How to buy pomegranate? choose the one with 6 cuttings.
How to open pomegranate? soak it in a bowl of iced water (to prevent the oxidation of vitamin C), the fruit skin will float on top and be easy to throw.
How to wash pomegranate-stained apron? use vinegar and salt water.

While you are boiling water, you can steam your face (do facial). Do not forget to apply moisturizer after that.

Cooking can be a relaxing activity.
For me, the most satisfying parts are when I can decorate my food, take photos of them, and when Darling and I are happily eating them.
Honestly, I dislike washing dishes and find preparation takes time, e.g. washing, cutting.
I have tried to outsource washing to my spouse or our cleaning lady.
I have also tried to ask more home-cooked food from my mother in-law.
I am grateful.

In the country where I am living now, there is a high prevalence of colon cancer, so I must include more fiber into the diet of our family.

I am grateful for a free lunch today with blackcurrant drink. I ate many cereal prawns!

Written by blueroselady

November 15, 2012 at 7:09 am